Steel-Cut Oatmeal

I should’ve shared this a long time ago. Steel cut oats are brilliant. They are minimally processed, so they retain a lot more of their nutrients than old-fashioned oats do. They also take longer to digest because they are closer to the whole grain format, so they tend to leave you feeling full for a longer period of time. The preparation is simple (though a little time-intensive), it freezes easily in individual portions for later use, and the flavor possibilities are endless. The Hippie Husband makes at least two pots per week, and we go through it quickly enough that none of it ever makes it to the freezer. The oatmeal lasts a few days in the refrigerator.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats

Overnight method (great for during the summer or the night before a big brunch):

  1. Bring water to a boil in a stockpot.
  2. Add oats, stir for one minute, turn off the heat and cover. Let sit overnight.
  3. The following morning, return the pot to a boil, stir, reduce heat to medium and replace the cover.
  4. Repeat the following process until the oatmeal reaches the desired consistency (usually about 20 minutes): Every 3-4 minutes, take off the cover and stir. If the oatmeal is still boiling, reduce the heat a little bit. You are looking for a good simmer, not a rolling boil.

Same-day method:

  1. Bring water to a boil. Stir in oats, reduce heat to medium, then cover the pan.
  2. Wait 3-4 minutes, stir, and replace the cover. If the oatmeal is still boiling, slightly reduce the heat.
  3. After 3-4 minutes, stir again, then replace the cover. If the oatmeal is still boiling, slightly reduce the heat.
  4. Keep doing this until the oatmeal reaches the desired consistency, about 40 minutes.

Flavor suggestions:

Sweet oatmeal:

Golden raisins pack quite a punch in the sweetness department. Stir in a handful of golden raisins, a handful of diced apples, and add a little honey if you still need it to be a little sweeter. This version is pictured at the top of the post.

And I will admit to my guilty breakfast pleasure: my favorite oatmeal indulgence is the Raisinette variety – a big handful of raisins mixed into the oatmeal, and then chocolate chips sprinkled on top. I don’t stir the chocolate into the oatmeal because don’t want it to melt – I love biting into the chunks of chocolate.

Savory oatmeal:

The Hippie Husband and Baby Hippie swear by this combination. They got the idea from my brother-in-law (more accurately, they got the idea from my sister complaining about how gross it is that my brother-in-law eats this in the morning). It’s more commonly featured at lunch at our house. To one cup of oatmeal, HH adds 1/2 cup of black beans, and salsa to taste (enough to turn the oatmeal a little red), then adds greek yogurt (or sour cream) and cheese as garnishes.

Your brain may struggle against this idea, as it never came in an instant oatmeal variety pack. Free your mind from the brown paper envelope. Oatmeal was not meant to be flavored with powders and reconstituted in the microwave. Give savory a try!


3 thoughts on “Steel-Cut Oatmeal

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Leftovers | The Reluctant Hippie

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